1 dead, 3 rescued when smuggling boat capsized off San Diego


A boat suspected of smuggling immigrants from Mexico capsized in California on Sunday, killing one man and three others were rescued, authorities said.

The 30-foot boat of the type known as the panga capsized near the Ocean Beach pier in San Diego just before 1 a.m., authorities said.

Three men were rescued and taken to hospital in stable condition, Lt. Ric Stell of the San Diego Lifeguard Service.

Several other people may have made it ashore and fled, authorities said.

It was not clear how many people had been on board the boat, a low, open fishing boat often used for smuggling. The sea was high, with 8-foot waves, authorities said.

Another boat was sighted around 3am near Point Loma and US Border Patrol arrested all 15 people on board for allegedly trying to enter the US illegally, KNSD-TV reported.

Last Monday, 72 people were taken into custody after three panga boats were sighted in Point Loma, the station’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency said.

“We’ve seen smugglers bring in larger groups and take them to more remote and dangerous areas,” Alfonso Martinez, deputy chief of Border Protection in San Diego, told the station.


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